Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Passage to Eleuthera

We pulled up the anchor and left Lynyard Cay at 4:40 am yesterday morning. Why so early?  We wanted to be sure we could make the 60 mile trip to Eleuthera in time to arrive during daylight. We also believed the winds were going to pick up during the day, leading to bigger waves. We were hoping to arrive before that happened. I have to say it was a little creepy for me to be driving out of North Bar Channel between the islands and reefs in the dark. We had a route in the chart plotter that I just had to trust. I also had to trust that there were no big waves coming at us through the channel. There weren’t and everything was fine. There was just a gentle 1-2 ft swell. We motored for about 1 1/2hr until there was enough light to see the sails. We have raised the sails in the dark before, using headlamps and a spot light to see what we are doing, but it is a lot easier during daylight. After the sails were set the ride became much smoother and faster. The winds were stronger than expected, 17-18 kn, and were were sailing at 7 kn, sometimes over 8 kn.  With the stronger winds we also had bigger waves, 3-4 ft on the port aft quarter. It was cloudy and cool all day long. We had to wear long sleeves to stay warm for the first time since arriving in the Bahamas (life is tough!).
We made much better time than expected and arrived at our planned destination, Royal Island, in the early afternoon. We decided to press on to Spanish Wells and pick up a mooring. Shortly after we arrived Jean and Tom, who live on the shore, came by in their small boat and said they often have cruisers over to their house for drinks in the afternoon at around 5 pm. How nice!  We were tired so begged off for yesterday. Today has been squally so far. If the squalls stop we may go to shore, dump the trash, pick up some fresh vegetables and stop by for a drink. We found out from Jean and Tom that there are no places for cruisers to do laundry here anymore.  There used to be one washer and one dryer in the back of a store but that is under new ownership and they are out of the laundry business. Laundry will have to wait. 

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